Childish Gambino: This Is America (Video 2018) Poster

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Provocative, mesmerising, enigmatic.. a video for the times.
jebediah-7266811 June 2018
Warning: Spoilers
All the so-called serious media outlets have waded in with think-pieces to 'explain' the significance this vid, and there are numerous attempts on YouTube to weigh in on the 'symbolism' that Glover and 'Atlanta' director Hiro Murai have weaved into the imagery, so there's plenty to read about, some edifying, some not so much, in other places than IMDB. There's no doubt it's shocking, and after the first viewing my questions came thick and fast. To say the video is verging on the unique is no overstatement.

The lyrical component, sometimes unintelligible, sometimes repetitively simple, and using familiar styles, combines with the track's laid-back musical energy. The visuals further complement these two aspects, a dreamily drifting camera hits the various marks at the exact moment an action is blocked out. What seems effortless is actually highly orchestrated. Setting: One deserted warehouse or large ex-industrial space. Characters: Childish Gambino, all spastic facial and physical choreography one minute, enviable rhythmic suppleness the next, and a cast of rioting, dancing, gospel-singing extras. And then there is the issue of executions by firearm. Not only deeply shocking, but unflinchingly depicted. Is the whole project calculated to extend a black viewpoint into contemporary political debate, or is it just a howl into the storm? Name-checks abound, Hunnid Bands, 21 Savage, Contraband, and Kodak Black are in there, plus rap track 'Blocka' (which is itself derived from the sound of automatic gunfire) along with references prettifying Gucci and (by inference) Twitter. Is black entertainment providing a soporific against the real violence going on outside, or is it promoting it?

Gambino resembles a man hustling to stay one-step ahead, lyrics constantly referring back to the 'Black Man', getting his money. If he stops moving then who knows what can happen, as the chaos escalates all around. Is he creating chaos or playing it?

His enigmatic coda is the disturbing image of his desperately fleeing from a potential lynch mob, eyes bulging in fear, while the song's last hopeless, impotent refrain plays out, it's softly-sung message unambiguous: "You just a black man in this world, You just a barcode, ayy. You just a black man in this world, Drivin' expensive foreigns, ayy. You just a big dawg, yeah, I kennelled him in the backyard. No proper life to a dog, For a big dog"

Is this your America?
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9/10
AMAZING
maddieturner-6616122 May 2018
Warning: Spoilers
Childish Gamblinon is literally amazing. No other words can describe him or this song. This song and it's music video addresses racial stereotypes and police brutality while portraying it to a catchy song. It also shows gun violence most like trying to portray the South Carolina church shooting. It addresses many political/racial issues that need to be talked about to show people that This is America.
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10/10
You can't talk about talented rappers withour naming "Childish Gambino"
villasecavicente22 September 2018
Donald Glover, being one of the most talented people that exists actually, made one of the most impressive music videos of the decade, with "This is America", Donald showed us again that he is one of the best rappers that have ever existed
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4/10
More cheap thrills than defining in terms of the country or anything else
Horst_In_Translation5 August 2018
Warning: Spoilers
These 4 minutes we got here from 2018 this year are the music video for the song "This Is America" by Childish Gambino (Donald Glover). He and director Hiro Murai also collaborated on the very successful television show Atlanta and here they delivered another triumph as this song is/was a huge hit and the music video received a great deal of awards recognition. But I cannot really share the praise. It's not bad by any means, but I am not buying the hype either. What stays memorable are maybe the two very shocking moments of violence, especially the choir shooting. Many references on guns and race of course in here and a lot more hidden beneath the surface, so yeah liberal viewers and listeners will probably like this one more than conservatives. To me it offered very little of value. The tune is somewhat catchy, I'll give him that, but that's pretty much it and I read people say it's not original either, but I cannot comment or elaborate on that any further. In any case, if you are curious about this one, just go for the record, no need to really check out the video. The rating is very baffling here on imdb. I give it a thumbs-down. Not recommended and another example of how music (in the sense of commercially successful hits) has not been doing too great quality-wise in a long time now. Go for something else instead.
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2/10
Over rated
sclafunk15 July 2018
Not only that, but we've since found out he completely stole the cadence and overall vibe of this song from a relatively unknown rapper; Jase Early's song called "American Pharaoh". The only difference was glover had the money and luciferian cabal backing to perfect it. people really need to start developing a sense of symbolic literacy, it's truly the most invaluable skill one can possess these days. It unearths a language within a language. The elite speaking to each other within the media. Develop that and the entire world opens up to you, for symbols rule all, we just don't think about it.
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9/10
This is Interesting
briceharlan18 September 2018
I love Donald Glover, and I think that Childish Gambino is an amazing alter ego, so there's that. Gambino is, on my opinion, a better rapper than whatever he's doing right now. That's not to say I don't like it, but Camp and BTI were more my jam than AML. Now this... The video is really good, but I don't love the song, it feels plain, unenthusiastic.
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